Taro Sponge Cake – Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving comes in all shapes and sizes: Small cozy gatherings, large family reunions, Friendsgivings and more. To me, Thanksgiving means a large potluck lunch with family and friends, complete with a huge turkey, mashed potatoes, and . . . sticky rice. And egg rolls. If we’re lucky, fried jumbo shrimp!

That’s right, I spent nearly every Thanksgiving of my childhood with my Chinese Church community in Wichita, Kansas. And let me tell you, the Chinese Church sure knows how to throw a potluck. The Thanksgiving potluck, though, pretty much rests in a league of its own.

I mean, it brings together the best of both worlds: Traditional Thanksgiving fare like a plump turkey and pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and savory Chinese favorites such as Chinese-style spareribs (yummm) and pig’s feet (don’t knock it til you’ve tried it).

Although my family has celebrated Thanksgiving in Houston for the last four years, this year, I am super excited that I have returned home to Wichita, Kansas for the holiday, and of course, to devour a massive potluck lunch (woohoo!!!!)!

And I get to see this baby…SO CUTE.

For today’s festivities, I decided to make a Chinese-style dessert: Sponge cake layers with a mixture of taro and whipping cream sandwiched in between, covered in mounds of fresh whipped cream. For those who don’t know (no shame here), taro is a root vegetable commonly used in Chinese cuisine – savory and sweet.

I don’t really know how to describe the taste; my sister says it tastes like “a really good potato, but more fragrant, like a different flavor.” I’m mostly excited by the fact that it is purple! If you’re interested, you can find one at any Asian grocery store. As for this recipe, my family actually made this cake for my mom’s birthday a couple of years back.

The sponge cake recipe comes from my dad’s super old Chinese cookbook (it’s actually falling apart!), and the taro filling is my sister’s personal creation. This cake . . . mmm. Yummy. I’m surprised it actually made it to my mom’s birthday dinner, considering how much I was eyeing it during the day. But, it was totally worth the wait . . . just like today’s potluck.

Speaking of which, here is Exhibit A from the potluck:

Um yeah. Also, as I type, my mom has just popped a turkey into the oven for tonight’s dinner . . . and now I’m off to make cheesy potatoes! I. love. Thanksgiving. Wishing everybody a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration!

Taro Sponge Cake


Sponge Cake

  1. 5 eggs
  2. 2/3 cup sugar
  3. 3/4 cup flour
  4. Pinch of salt
  5. 3 tablespoons melted butter
  6. 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Taro Filling

  1. 1 pound of taro
  2. 1 cup whipping cream
  3. 1 cup powdered sugar

Whipped Cream Frosting

  1. 1 cup whipping cream
  2. 1/2 cup powdered sugar


Sponge Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Thoroughly grease two 8-inch cake pans and set aside.
  2. Separate egg yolks and whites. Whisk egg whites until creamy, then add sugar and whisk until thickened. Whisk egg yolks, then fold into egg white/sugar mixture.
  3. Sift plain flour and salt together, then gently fold into egg mixture. Fold in vanilla extract and melted butter.
  4. Pour into 2 cake pans, then bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean from center of the cake. Cool to room temperature before filling and frosting.

Taro Filling

  1. Cut the taro into one-inch cubes, then steam until soft enough to mash (approximately 25 minutes).
  2. Mash the taro with a potato masher, then place into bowl with whipping cream and powdered sugar. Beat with electric beaters until thoroughly combined and easily spreadable. Spread the taro mixture on top of one of the cakes, then top with the other cake.

Whipped Cream Frosting

  1. Using electric mixer, beat fresh whipping cream and powdered sugar together until stiff peaks form.
  2. Frost top and sides of the cake with fresh whipped cream.

4 thoughts on “Taro Sponge Cake – Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Thank you so much! I actually took A TON of pictures of him over Thanksgiving, so expect to see a lot more appear on the blog!

  1. i have never tried a taro sponge cake but it looks scrumptious! some of the best recipes i have are family recipes so i can understand why this cake is such a favorite for you guys 🙂

    • I love making family recipes because everyone gets to join in on the fun! And you know it’ll (almost always) turn out well…though I find ways to screw most everything up haha. You should definitely try taro! It has a pretty distinct flavor, but I think it’s absolutely delicious.

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